I would take the advice of your guide to be on the safe side then if you are away from the beaten track.
My wife is also from Colombia but I often go there without her. Initially there was the attraction of it being off the radar for lots of people, now I just like going there and find the people in general pretty friendly and the birding great. Also there's the scenery, the nice food (not to everyones taste I know!), the cheap travel. It always feels like a bit of an adventure in the way most other places I've been to don't.